Tropic of Fear

Diane Lang, a professor of German from Yale, came to Paraguay to conduct research on the Mennonite settlements in the green hell called the Chaco. Walter Stanek, a hydrogeologist from Arizona, was in country to take part in a disaster-prevention project and an environmental impact study for the Corpus Christi dam on the Paraná river. So how did they get caught between rebel forces and the secret police under Colonel Hector Ibarras, a man with designs on power?

Five minutes after she arrived in the international airport outside the capital, Lang was pulled aside for a brutal interrogation, her past activities somehow a menace to the state, her life threatened. Stanek’s problems started with an encounter at the Club Bahia Negra and a late night attack on the dusty, unpaved road of a nearby shantytown. And they continued when the disaster-prevention project turned into “war games” focusing on the repression of the country’s liberation movements.

And just who was “Dink” Denton and what was he doing in the city? He claimed to be a former helicopter pilot, veteran of conflicts in Panama and Iraq, an undercover DEA agent assigned to an international drug case. But which side was he on?

As the chaos of revolution breaks out around them, drawing them inexorably into its maelstrom, Diane and Walter struggle to survive while forced to play a pivotal role in a plot to overthrow the government of General Enrique Zancon.